About ECFC

A Catalyst for Change

Thirty years ago, the Early Childhood Funders Collaborative (ECFC) was started by a ‘motley crew’ of children and youth grantmakers that recognized the need to convene funders who supported the unique time of life that makes up the early years. Since then, we have learned together, seeded systemic change, elevated policy conversations and over the last few years, evolved into a strategic body pushing equity and alignment in the early learning funding space.  Our strength is in the community we have developed among foundations and funder collaboratives who genuinely want to collaborate and align their resources for common good and speak out on behalf of young children and their families.

Learn more about our work and priorities in our
2023-2028 Strategic Plan, and in our annual reports and statements.

Our Vision

All children have an equitable opportunity for healthy development and learning, in the context of their families and communities.

Our Mission

  1. Increase the effectiveness of philanthropic investment in systemic, equity-focused approaches to early childhood.
  2. Promote federal, state, and local policies and practices that support young children, their families, and the early childhood community.


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  • focuses on children who are prenatal to age eight and their families.
  • takes a multigenerational approach, recognizing that children thrive when their parents thrive.
  • prioritizes equity for children and families who face risks such as exclusion or unequal opportunity based on race or ethnicity, special needs, sexual orientation or gender identity, income, or other factors.
  • seeks to promote self-determination and democratic voice for disenfranchised families.
  • recognizes that private philanthropic dollars cannot replace the social safety net, but can leverage public investment, test ideas, and contribute to knowledge about effective practice.
  • promotes the integration of practice, policy and research in grantmaking.
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  • reach their full potential, live the healthiest lives possible, and are nurtured in strong relationships with their parents, other adults, and safe and supportive communities.
  • begin school safe, healthy, and ready to learn with a continuum of education and support throughout childhood.
  • enter schools that are safe, healthy, and ready to provide quality education.
  • have a level playing field of opportunities designed to create equitable outcomes for all children, with the most vulnerable benefiting from increased services and investments to create more equitable opportunities.
  • experience environments in which their racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity is respected and meaningfully integrated into their early childhood experiences and education
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Parents & Families

  • have a right to secure work that meets their most basic needs and supports economic stability, with a safety net to support them when work does not offer family-supporting pay, working conditions, and benefits.
  • can thrive and advocate for their children through civic participation and having a voice in education, health care, and human services decisions.
  • deserve supportive policies that allow them to both work and parent well.
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Early Childhood Systems

  • implement a comprehensive approach to child development.
  • implement an intentional approach that incorporates equity into hiring, management, training and curriculum implementation, and evaluation.
  • offer a range of supports for families, including home-based and center-based services.
  • are well-financed through adequate public investment and public-private partnerships.
  • strive for and achieve equitable outcomes for children.
  • serve the unique needs of children who are at higher risk due to poverty, discrimination, disability, health and mental health concerns, or adverse childhood experiences.
  • are staffed by professionals who are respected, well-prepared, and well-compensated.
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Our Country

  • recognizes that U.S. society has a stake in developmental outcomes for ALL children.
  • recognizes our racial, cultural, and linguistic diversity as an asset.
  • adopts budgets that reflect our values with investments in adequate health and mental health care, education (including early care and education), and economic policies that support children and families to thrive.
Early Childhood Funders Collaborative (ECFC) is fiscally sponsored by Third Sector New England, Inc. (TSNE). TSNE provides back-office administrative supports that allows ECFC to focus on our programming and achieve our mission.
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